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How to File a Fire Code Appeal & FAQs

Before you appeal

Appeals are reviewed every other Thursday and must be filed by 5:00 PM on the Monday of the appeal review week to be heard that week. If filed after 5:00 PM on Monday of the appeal review week, the review will be scheduled for the next session, two weeks later.

$200 fee will be required upon filing the appeal.

Along with the fee payment and a completed appeal form, the appeal should include supplemental material to demonstrate the need for the appeal. Depending on the type of appeal, additional materials such as blue prints, maps of the area/site plans, or a written letter may be required – anything that will help demonstrate the basis for the appeal. Failure to provide complete and accurate information may cause delays with the appeal review process.

How to appeal

  1. Go to the Bureau of Development Services Appeal Application Page and complete the electronic appeal form.
  2. Select “FIRE” as the appeal type.
  3. Complete all required fields.
  4. Attach all supplemental materials (must be in .pdf format)
  5. Choose method of payment: online (payment may be made by credit card or electronic check); mail or in person (payment must be cash or check and either mailed or delivered to the Ash St. office). Please note: appeals will not be heard until payment is received.
  6. Submit the appeal request and make note of the Appeal ID.
  7. Click on link to make payment.
  8. Enter Appeal ID and follow instructions for entering payment information.

Appeal online

FAQ

Who can I contact with questions?

Contact your Fire Inspector or the Plans Examiner to inquire about a violation of a Fire Code. They can provide you with information about what Fire Code you are appealing and why. In some cases, your Fire Inspector or Plans Examiner may also provide suggestions on alternate methods of fixing the violation. If you do not know who your Fire Inspector or Plans Examiner is, call the Fire Code & Inspection helpline at (503) 823-3770.

What is the process?

Upon receipt of your appeal packet and fee payment, the administrative appeal board will review the appeal. A decision will be reached and a letter of disposition will be sent to you.

What if I don’t agree with the decision?

If you are not satisfied with the administrative ruling the appeal may be continued to the Fire Code Board of Appeals. To initiate this process, you may send your appeal information and a written request to the address as indicated in your letter of disposition. This information must be received no later than 10 days from the administrative ruling as specified in the disposition letter.

Note:  If you do request a hearing before the Fire Code Board of Appeals, please be prepared to show how your appeal demonstrates an alternate means of equivalent safety to the applicable code requirement(s). The Board of Appeals does not have the power to waive any provisions of the code. All appeal requests must demonstrate a substantially equivalent degree of safety is provided and is generally conforming to national standards concerning fire prevention, fire safety measures and building construction requirements for safety.

Who makes up the Fire Code Board of Appeals?

The Board is a three member group composed of volunteers of qualified individuals from the private sector who possess knowledge and experience in the specific code. All meetings are open to the public.

Where in the Fire Code are appeals addressed?

The authority is derived from City Code, Title 31 Fire Regulations, reference 31.10.080. 

How do I research appeals?

Click here to search online for a specific appeal.